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Articles:Listening to Music May Boost Immune System...Others


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These four items were in one article, and since they pertain to overall health, it seemed natural to post them here.

http://www.nysun.com/health-fitness/lis ... ost/84527/


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1. Listening to music can give your immune system a boost and may help fight off disease, researchers have discovered.

Scientists found that after volunteers had listened to just 50 minutes of uplifting dance music, the levels of antibodies in their bodies increased.

They also found that stress hormone levels, which can weaken the immune system, decreased after being exposed to the music. The scientists tested 300 people, asking them to listen to the dance music or to a random collection of tones.

Levels of cortisol, the stress hormone, decreased significantly in those listening to the music compared with the control group.

Levels of the antibody immunoglobin A, the immune system's first line of defense, were higher in those who listened to music. Volunteers who played a percussion instrument along with the music also benefited from the immune boost. The researchers, from Sussex University in Britain and the Max Planck Institute in Leipzig, Germany, say their findings demonstrate how music could be used to help aid patients' recovery while in hospital.

A neurocognition expert at the Max Planck Institute who led the research, Dr. Ronny Enk, said: "We think the pleasant state that can be induced by music leads to special physiological changes which eventually lead to stress reduction or direct immune enhancement."

2. Researchers Hope To End Insomnia, Jet Lag

Hopes of a cure for insomnia and jet lag have risen after scientists discovered why we feel drowsy in dim light and more alert in dazzling white light.

A team at Oxford University, whose work is published in the journal Nature Neuroscience, has found cells in the eye that respond to certain forms of light and help regulate alertness. They are hoping that the development of drugs that replicate this effect could help cure insomnia and make jet lag a thing of the past.

Russell Foster, who led the team, said that the results could "have enormous practical value as currently the drugs available for the regulation of sleep and alertness are fairly crude."

He already has some candidate chemicals, but believes it will be a decade before tests on patients.

3. Fruit Juices May Make Medicines Less Effective

Drinking fruit juices can prevent vital medicines from working properly, scientists have found.

Grapefruit, orange, and apple juice can block the absorption of certain cancer, heart, and blood pressure drugs meaning patients are not getting the full benefit of their treatment, research suggests.

Studies have already found that grapefruit juice can increase the potency of some drugs which could lead to an overdose. Patients on certain medication are advised to avoid drinking the juice or eating too much grapefruit.

Now a team at University of Western Ontario, in Canada, has found that it can also have the opposite effect.

New studies have identified nearly 50 drugs that interact with grapefruit and other juices.

4. Glowing Tumors May Be Next Step in Cancer Surgery

A technique to make cancer surgery more precise by getting tumors to glow has been tested.

Surgeons currently operate with no clear way of determining whether they have removed all the diseased tissue — key to successful surgery. Now, they plan to inject patients with a dye that shows tumors clearly in infrared light. Surgeons will be able to use the image to guide incisions.

The system has been tested on lymph nodes and will now be adapted to highlight cancer itself.

"This technique is really the first time that cancer surgeons can see structures that are otherwise invisible," Dr. John Frangioni, of Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center, Boston, who unveiled the method last week at the American Chemical Society in Philadelphia, said. "If we're able to see cancer, we have a chance of curing it."

The technique shows promise in breast, prostate, and lung cancer, where the boundaries of tumors are difficult to track at advanced stages. It will help surgeons avoid cutting blood vessels and nerves and reveal tissue, such as lymph nodes, where cancer has spread.

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(The Daily Telegraph, August 25, 2008)


The information contained in these articles may or may not be in agreement with my own opinions. They are not posted as medical advice of any kind.

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